Scotty Moore files complaint alleging NBC affiliate violated vaccine passport ban
Scotty Moore gets an electoral reprieve.

Scotty Moore
WESH-TV didn't allow the congressional candidate to participate in a debate without a COVID-19 shot.

Congressional candidate Scotty Moore filed a complaint with the state against a news station that turned him away from a debate.

Moore filed the complaint against WESH 2 Orlando with the Attorney General’s Office, asserting the news station violated a law forbidding vaccine passports when it said Moore could not participate in a debate hosted by the station because he has not been vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Orlando Republican was to debate Democratic U.S. Rep. Darren Soto on Sept. 8.

Moore said the Republican Party of Florida supports his complaint.

“I applaud the leadership of Chairman Joe Gruters and the Republican Party of Florida for joining me in this fight and standing up to corporate tyranny,” Moore said. “It is absurd that in the latter half of 2022, woke corporate media companies and the like are trying to continue forcing draconian COVID-19 measures on Floridians and in the process are breaking Florida law, and discriminating against one political party over another.”

Party officials backed Moore up.

“The decision by WESH-2 to cancel the Congressional District 9 debate because of a candidate’s vaccination status is discriminatory, unlawful and will not be ignored by the Republican Party of Florida,” said Gruters, Chair of the state party. “It is beyond absurd that in 2022, as Florida has moved past the COVID-19 pandemic, our Republican nominees are discriminated against based on their private medical decisions. Gov. DeSantis and the Florida Legislature made it abundantly clear that COVID passports and vaccination requirements will not be tolerated in our state. WESH-2 and Hearst Television must be held accountable for violating Florida law and should schedule a new, in-person debate at their studio as soon as possible so Central Florida voters can make informed decisions on Election Day.”

WESH-TV released a statement after the debate cancellation saying candidates knew about vaccination requirements in advance of the debate.

However, it wasn’t until the scheduled taping of the event that Moore took an issue.

“During the Primary season this year, we have hosted 12 debates. The latest debate for the general election that we hope to bring you is for U.S. House District 9, between Incumbent Democrat Darren Soto and Republican challenger Scotty Moore,” the statement read. “That debate was set to be recorded here at the WESH 2 studios this morning. The debate rules and vaccine requirements were defined and provided to Mr. Moore and his team well in advance.”

Moore quickly asserted this violated rules that stop businesses from limiting access, and seemed to get public acknowledgment from Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office. DeSantis spokesperson Bryan Griffin tweeted an excerpt of the law stating businesses “may not require patrons or customers to provide any documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination.”

It’s unclear if a candidate invited to participate in a debate falls in the category of patron or customer, but Moore is pressing the issue.

“Over two and a half years ago, Gov. DeSantis made it clear that vaccine passports and COVID requirements would not be welcome in the Free State of Florida,” Moore said. “I sincerely hope that WESH2 will change course so that myself and my opponent, Darren Soto, can get back to debating the issues that really matter to Central Floridians — high rent, high inflation, making a choice between school supplies or a tank of gas, and ensuring our children are protected in the womb and from indoctrination in our schools.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


  • SteveHC

    September 16, 2022 at 5:19 am

    Rebuplican candidates STILL insist on acting like little children? Someone please either give them their nippled milk bottles or tell them to grow up…


    • SteveHC

      September 16, 2022 at 5:21 am

      RePuBlican candidates… sorry for the typo.


  • Bill Simmons

    September 17, 2022 at 4:23 am

    Moore is an idiot. This guy has run his entire campaign from the inside of a courtroom. He screwed up, he sues, he does not get what he wants, he sues. It’s the only part of our form of government he knows is the judicial branch, 20 years living in Brazil, comes back here due to COVID and thinks he knows what leadership is? What the needs and desires of the district is? He is out of touch and if ever elected Moore would be a complete embarrassment. I would suspect if he was ever elected he would be one and fine. Moore is a weak ignorant candidate who won the primary because he fooled a lot of people. He certainly didn’t excite many voters. The low number of voters showed that. It’s been said many times, having the most money does not mean you are the best candidate. Anyone in that primary were a better representative of the people than Moore.


  • Miguel Arsuaga

    September 22, 2022 at 9:04 am

    Darren Soto is an empty suit, a Biden wannabe who supported him and his progressives completely. This support culminated in the so-called Inflation Reduction Act that more accurately should be the Inflation CREATION Act. Taxes go up along with 87K more IRS Gestapo agents. Elect Soto and you’ll get a truckload of the same irresponsible and destructive legislation while your retirement assets shrink. End the insanity. Vote RED beginning in Nov.


  • Don Landecker

    September 22, 2022 at 10:53 pm

    Scotty Moore is a American. He believes that our country is being hijacked by extreme woke and mis lead people . He is a fresh voice and welcome by the majority. He is smart and is best person for Florida!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Renzo Downey, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Kelly Hayes, Joe Henderson, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Gray Rohrer, Aimee Sachs, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Andrew Wilson, Wes Wolfe, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn